Maybe your spouse, your kids, perhaps your parents or some other relatives?
Maybe some friends or coworkers, neighbors or old acquaintances?
Now, 50 years after you die, who will have cared that you lived?
How about 100 years, or 1,000?
Will anyone care that you were here on Earth?
And don’t feel bad – that’s true for most of us.
Very, very rarely will someone die that we really, truly give a shit about.
Oh, we might get a little teary-eyed when a celebrity or musician or former head of state dies…but that doesn’t last long.
And really…who are these people?
When Nelson Mandela died, the world took notice and mourned for about a week.
And why not?
The guy did a lot, made quite the statement, and really changed the way his country worked.
For people in South Africa, Nelson Mandela’s death was probably a big deal.
For people in America, not so much.
For people in Montana, not much at all.
It’s now been over 3 years since Mandela died, and no one really cares anymore.
Give it another decade and that’ll be even truer, and in 50 years no one will care at all.
Now, not all of us are the Nelson Mandela types.
Oh, we could be….but the truth of the matter is that we won’t.
It’s just too much work, standing up for your beliefs, trying to bring about change, and sometimes even getting locked up for it.
And that’s why no one will care when we die.
We didn’t do anything with our lives.
Sure, we got up each day and went to work, bought a bunch of consumer goods, and maybe even had some kids.
No one gives a shit about that.
I’ve got a hill full of people living behind my apartment that are doing all those things now.
I have no idea who they are, and if they died tomorrow I’d have no idea.
They had no impact on my life.
And these people living on the hill are all rich!
So much for money, eh?
Because really, if you get a million dollars but still no one cares when you die, what good was your life?
If, by chance, you get up to those pearly gates…what are you going to say?
Jeez, Peter, I did what they told me – I went to school, got a job, got married, had kids, saved for retirement, and tried to be a good person.
And Peter will let you in, for you did all that you had to do.
But you didn’t do more, and I can’t help but think Peter will give a little sigh, perhaps an eye roll, thinking all the while that, Another that didn’t do anything, just left the world as shitty a place as when they arrived.
And that’s most of us in a nutshell – coming to this earth for a short time, going through the motions, and then leaving it without really making much difference.
Hey, your kids might care, right?
But no one else will.
And think of those great names from history, the ones you look up to and admire and aim to be like.
What’d they do that has you liking them today, years or decades or centuries after their deaths?
What did they do that you’re not?
$10 says it didn’t have much to do with money.
And that makes me think of Jesus.
Here’s a guy that died about 2,000 years ago that people talk about to this day.
Damn, he did something right, huh?
What’s interesting is that what he did right has nothing to do with what we as a society say is right.
For instance, today we tell people to get a ‘good’ job so they can make as much money as possible. That way they can buy things that make them ‘happy.’
I can’t help but think this societal ideal of collecting as much money/possessions as we can is leading to all kinds of problems.
To me, 18% of Americans have a mental disorder because of this ideal of ours.
For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves to be conned into thinking that this is how life is supposed to be.
I think the TV plays a big part in this.
It’s pure propaganda, with 20 minutes of every hour devoted wholly to advertising, or what we might better term as unscrupulous individuals trying to make you believe you need things that you really don’t need.
With 97% of American households owning at least one TV, however, people can’t escape this message.
It’s one of the reasons you’ll always see more cars in the Walmart parking lot on Sunday than the church parking lot.
Consumerism is America’s religion, and we eat it up.
Sadly, it doesn’t do much for our souls or those around us here on earth.
It’s why most people don’t care when other people die.
Those other people never did anything, besides blindly consuming and perhaps knockin’ out a few kids.
Those kids will in turn consume and die and no one will much care that they were here either.
That’s how our society works, and it’s been that way for a long time.
So think about your life and your path and what your true goals are, both in the here and now and long after you’re gone.
Because if you died tomorrow, who would care?